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Why I Sold the Linkedin to Microsoft – Linkedin CEO

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Linkedin

The Chief Executive Officer of LinkedIn Corp., Jeff Weiner in his emotional letter to employees on Monday shared some ideas on why Linkedin’s services could be better with Microsoft’s products.

The CEO said the company would remain a fully independent entity within Microsoft organization.

Below is the full letter posted by the CEO to Linkedin on Monday:

December 15th, 2008, marked the first day of the best job I’ve ever had. My rationale for joining LinkedIn was simple: The opportunity to work with Reid Hoffman, a founder I greatly admired and respected; to join an extremely talented and dedicated team; and to massively scale LinkedIn’s membership and business, both of which had the potential to fundamentally transform the way the world connects to opportunity. Never in my wildest dreams, could I have imagined what would happen in the next 7½ years. Our team has grown from 338 people to over 10,000, our membership from 32M to over 433M and our revenue from $78M to over $3 billion.

Despite those accomplishments, we’ve only just begun to realize our full potential and purpose: Our mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.

Today’s announcement, that LinkedIn will be combining forces with Microsoft, marks the next step in our journey together, the next stepping stone toward realizing our mission and vision, and in remaining CEO of the company, the next chapter in the greatest professional experience of my life.

No matter what you’re feeling now, give yourself some time to process the news. You might feel a sense of excitement, fear, sadness, or some combination of all of those emotions. Every member of the exec team has experienced the same, but we’ve had months to process. Regardless of the ups and downs, we’ve come out the other side knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is the best thing for our company.

Let me explain why.

Every day I come to work, I’m primarily guided by two things:

First, realizing our mission and vision. While this has always been top of mind for me, it’s never been more so than now. Remember that dystopian view of the future in which technology displaces millions of people from their jobs? It’s happening. In the last three weeks alone, Foxconn announced it will replace 60,000 factory workers with robots, a former CEO of McDonald’s said given rising wages, the same would happen throughout their franchises, Walmart announced plans to start testing drones in its warehouses, and Elon Musk predicted fully autonomous car technology would arrive within two years.

Whether it’s worker displacement, the skills gap, youth unemployment, or socio-economic stratification, the impact on society will be staggering. I’ve said it on multiple occasions and believe it even more so every day: creating economic opportunity will be the defining issue of our time. That’s why I’m here and why I can’t imagine doing any other job. Simply put, what we do matters, and matters more than ever.

The second thing I focus on every day is making our culture and values come to life. Ten years ago, had you asked me about culture and values I would have rolled my eyes and recited a line from Dilbert. But when I started as CEO I began to appreciate just how important they were. Culture and values provide the foundation upon which everything else is built. They are arguably our most important competitive advantage, and something that has grown to define us. It’s one thing to change the world. It’s another to do it in our own unique way: Members first. Relationships matter. Be open, honest and constructive. Demand excellence. Take intelligent risks. Act like an owner.

That’s who we are. That’s LinkedIn.

I primarily focus on these two things, because that’s all I ever wanted when I was in your shoes: A clear sense of purpose and the opportunity to be successful in pursuit of that purpose. Thankfully, in my current role, I can actually do something about that.

In order to pursue our mission and vision, and to do so in a way consistent with our culture and values, we need to control our own destiny.

That, above all else, is the most important rationale behind today’s announcement.

At this point, some of you may be thinking this sounds completely counterintuitive: How will we be more likely to control our own destiny after being acquired? The answer lies in both the way in which the world has been evolving and the unique way in which this deal will be structured.

Imagine a world where we’re no longer looking up at Tech Titans such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, and wondering what it would be like to operate at their extraordinary scale — because we’re one of them.

Imagine a world where we’re not reacting to the intensifying competitive landscape — we’re leading it with advantages most companies can only dream of leveraging.

Imagine a world where we’re not pressured to compromise on long-term investment, hesitant to disrupt ourselves, or hamstrung in the way we can reward and acquire new talent due to stock price concerns, but consistently investing intelligently toward the realization of our mission and vision.

And imagine a world where a global economic downturn doesn’t limit our ability to execute, but reinforces the essential quality of our purpose and actually strengthens our resolve when people need us most.

With today’s news, we won’t need to imagine any of it because it’s now our reality.

Some of you may be asking “Why Microsoft?”

Long before Satya and I first sat down to talk about how we could work together, I had publicly shared my thoughts on how impressive his efforts were to rapidly transition Microsoft’s strategy and culture. After all, it’s extremely rare to see a company of that scope and scale move so quickly to make fundamental changes.

The Microsoft that has evolved under Satya’s leadership is a more agile, innovative, open and purpose-driven company. It was that latter point that first had me thinking we could make this work, but it was his thoughts on how we’d do it that got me truly excited about the prospect.

When Satya first proposed the idea of acquiring LinkedIn, he said it was absolutely essential that we had alignment on two things: Purpose and structure. On the former, it didn’t take long before the two of us realized we had virtually identical mission statements. For LinkedIn, it was to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and for Microsoft it was to empower every individual and organization in the world to achieve more. Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud.

Both of us recognized that combining these assets would be unique and had the potential to unlock some enormous opportunities.

For example:

  • Massively scaling the reach and engagement of LinkedIn by using the network to power the social and identity layers of Microsoft’s ecosystem of over one billion customers. Think about things like LinkedIn’s graph interwoven throughout Outlook, Calendar, Active Directory, Office, Windows, Skype, Dynamics, Cortana, Bing and more.
  • Accelerating our objective to transform learning and development by deeply integrating the Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning solution in Office alongside some of the most popular productivity apps on the planet (note: 6 of the top 25 most popular Lynda.com courses are related to Microsoft products).
  • Realizing LinkedIn’s full potential to truly change the way the world works by partnering with Microsoft to innovate on solutions within the enterprise that are ripest for disruption, e.g., the corporate directory, company news dissemination, collaboration, productivity tools, distribution of business intelligence and employee voice, etc.
  • Expanding beyond recruiting and learning & development to create value for any part of an organization involved with hiring, managing, motivating or leading employees. This human capital area is a massive business opportunity and an entirely new one for Microsoft.
  • Giving Sponsored Content customers the ability to reach Microsoft users anywhere across the Microsoft ecosystem, unlocking significant untapped inventory.
  • Redefining social selling through the combination of Sales Navigator and Dynamics.
  • Leveraging our subscription capabilities to provide opportunities to the massive number of freelancers and independent service providers that use Microsoft’s apps to run their business on a daily basis.

And these are just some of the ideas that have been discussed since our first meeting.

Turning from purpose, we focused our attention on potential structure. I had no idea what Satya was going to propose, but knew how difficult acquisition integrations could be if not established the right way from the start.

Long story short, Satya had me at “independence.” In other words, his vision was to operate LinkedIn as a fully independent entity within Microsoft, a model used with great success by companies like YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp. I would remain as CEO and report directly to him instead of a board. Together, along with Reid, Bill Gates, my former colleague Qi Lu, and new partner Scott Guthrie, we would partner on how best to leverage this extraordinary combination of assets while pursuing a shared mission. This, we both agreed, might not only be a structure that could work, it would be one in which both companies could thrive.

Now onto the most important question: What does this mean for you specifically as an employee of LinkedIn?

Given our ability to operate independently, little is expected to change: You’ll have the same title, the same manager, and the same role you currently have. The one exception: For those members of the team whose jobs are entirely focused on maintaining LinkedIn’s status as a publicly traded company, we’ll be helping you find your next play. In terms of everything else, it should be business as usual. We have the same mission and vision; we have the same culture and values; and I’m still the CEO of LinkedIn.

I wanted to conclude on a familiar note. One of the most memorable moments I’ve experienced at LinkedIn was ringing the bell at the NYSE. I remember the All Hands we had following the event like it was yesterday. During that meeting, we reinforced the fact that becoming public was not the end game, but rather a stepping stone in the process of our ultimate objectives. We finished the All Hands with two words that have become LinkedIn’s unofficial mantra: “Next play.” In other words, don’t dwell on the past, lingering for too long on a lesson learned, or the celebration of a special accomplishment, but rather focus on the task at hand. It’s a mantra that’s served us well.

So, here’s to the next stepping stone.

Next play.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Toyota Marks 25th Anniversary of Sienna, Lauches Limited Edition

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Toyota launches Sienna 2023 to celebrate the model’s first quarter-century of popularity with a limited edition to mark its 25th Anniversary.

The ultra-sporty XSE model, on which the Toyota 25th Anniversary Edition is based, features dark 20-inch split-5-spoke wheels, bolder front and rear bumpers, black-painted caps, and a sport-tuned suspension that is exclusive to the XSE. The XSE Plus Package adds roof rails, Premium Audio with JBL speakers and GPS, wireless charging, and a 1500-watt converter to the Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition, which is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

The Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition is available in Celestial Silver and Wind Chill Pearl, both of which are appropriate for the occasion. The two exterior colors are accented by special black badging and exterior trim, including mirror caps and shark fin antenna.

The external mirrors with memory, auto-dimming, puddle lights, power-fold, and reverse-tilt down function are among the amenities added to this celebratory model from the Limited grade.

The Limited additionally includes heated and ventilated front seats with memory, as well as black leather-trimmed seating with silver-colored stitching.

Onboard comfort is enhanced by the Limited’s memory steering column and second-row seats with ottomans, while lighted door sills greet front passengers.

A customized black key fob cover with silver-colored stitching bears a “25th Anniversary” logo, and special “25th Anniversary” floormats pamper the feet.

Also, the Toyota Audio systems in the 2023 Sienna provide a plethora of connectivity and entertainment options, with something for everyone. The LE grade’s base Toyota Audio system comes with a 9-inch touchscreen, six speakers, Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, seven USB media ports, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription, Safety Connect with a 1-year trial, and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 3 GB within a one-month trial.

When minivans initially became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Toyota first imported its rear-drive Van and then the more market-friendly Previa. Meanwhile, Toyota was working on a far more focused entry, the Sienna, which debuted in 1998.

The Sienna has shown to be right on target for the market, evolving to a degree of family car perfection with each design iteration.

Toyota as a brand has retained a great lead in car sales globally despite chip shortages. Investors King explained that in 2021 Toyota surged by 10.1 percent, beating its German counterpart, Volkswagen, and Electric Vehicle, Tesla to having the highest sales record in the world.

Investors King gathered that maintaining the top sales record for two years in a row, Toyota Motor Co. stated that it sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by affiliates Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors. That is 5 percent fewer than the number sold in 2020, its lowest sales figures in 10 years, and more than 8.88 million vehicles delivered by Volkswagen AG within the same year.

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Fidelity Bank Partners Edo State and GIZ to Host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable and Sensitisation Workshop 

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fidelity bank - Investors King

Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to host an exports roundtable and policy sensitisation workshop for businesses in Benin-City, Edo State capital in partnership with the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and GIZ on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.  

The event, which would be the fourth edition of the bank’s CBN RT200 FX Sensitization seminars following successful outings in Kano, Ondo and Plateau States in February, March and April 2022 respectively, is part of the bank’s initiatives to help importers pivot to exports.

According to the Divisional Head, Export and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc, Isaiah Ndukwe, Fidelity Bank’s decision to partner ESIPO and GIZ is borne out of the need to help exporters to build their business management capacity and is further proof of the value the bank provides to export-oriented businesses in Nigeria.

“At Fidelity Bank we are known for empowering our customers with the necessary financial and non-financial services to upscale their businesses. We consider the CBN RT200 FX scheme an amazing opportunity for businesses to bolster their FX earning capacity and we are delighted to collaborate with ESIPO and GIZ to host businesses in and around Benin City to a workshop to help them take advantage of the scheme”, explained Ndukwe.

Launched on February 10, 2022, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of measures to reduce the increasing demand for foreign currency by importers, the RT200 FX scheme is designed to help Nigeria achieve $200 billion in FX repatriation from non-oil exports over the next five years. The policy has been hailed by stakeholders in the export sector as an initiative capable of stimulating the growth of non-oil exports in Nigeria.

“The goal of the roundtable is to identify and promote viable non-oil export opportunities, provide financing options, and proffer steps to removing the identified bottlenecks in the export process for non-oil products from Edo State to the global market. It will provide a platform for the exporters to meet with the export regulatory bodies and express their challenges which hinder exports. The event will also serve as an opportunity for the regulatory agencies to address the challenges on the spot and provide solutions to them with a view of enhancing Nigeria’s capacity in the African Continental Free Trade Area deal”, commented Marcus Unuebho of the Business Development Support and Export Unit, ESIPO.

On his part, the Technical Advisor for Edo State, Local Economic and Value Chain Development, GIZ SEDIN, Nosakhare Omon Aigiomawu stated that, “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the drivers of local economic development. Collaborating to provide market linkages and access to finance would address major constraints to these groups and ensure more employment creation as well as higher income”.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.

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SMEs

Bank of Industry Disburses N213.63bn to Over 30,000 Businesses in 2021

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small-business

The Bank of Industry (BOI) has revealed that it disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 businesses in Nigeria in the 2021 financial year.

The Managing  Director of BOI, Olukayode Pitan disclosed this at the 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank on Thursday in Abuja. He said that the bank was able to successfully scale up its developmental impacts in 2021 despite the challenges and limitations caused by COVID-19.

Pitan said “at the peak of COVID-19 in 2020, the bank took steps to support customers with a two per cent reduction in interest rates for a year alongside an extension of loan tenors and moratoriums. He said that the operating environment improved in 2021 and that is the reason they have decided to extend the incentives until March 31, 2022.”

He added that all ongoing projects were reviewed to assess emerging risks and opportunities and also additional support was provided.

“In the year under review, the bank disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 Nigerian enterprises through both direct and indirect methods. This represents a 47.3 per cent increase over disbursements in 2020.

“The 2021 disbursements include N2.99billion to 22,120 farmers through our smallholder  farmers on  lending product and one billion Naira to 4,000 micro-retailers through our MSMEs distributor finance programme.

“At BoI, we have since taken measures to ensure that our systems, processes and people are continuously equipped to meet the evolving business environment.

“Today, we are a more agile and adaptive institution,  able to provide the necessary developmental support for Nigeria’s real sector in an ever-changing economy.

“Our commitment to building a resilient organisation that can respond to the needs of our customers and operating challenges is unwavering.

“We strongly believe that we can achieve this with the continuous support of the stakeholders.” he further said. 

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